Jul222017

Marriott Courtyard Pilsen CZ category 1 reward stay

Marriott Courtyard Pilsen, Czechia is one of only six Marriott Rewards category 1 hotels in Europe available for 7,500 points per night. This was a fantastic deal for our 2-night stay in July 2017 when the lowest comparable flexible cancellation rate was $151 USD per night.

Marriott Courtyard ext

Prague to Pilsen transportation

Pilsen is a one hour bus ride 100 km southwest from Prague. Bus travel tends to be quite a bit faster than train travel across Czechia and Slovakia. Pilsen is 75 km from the border of Germany and about 200 km from Nuremburg, Germany.

From Prague, we rode the Metro B line from Florence Metro station at the city bus station to Zličín, the southwest terminus of Metro B line. The Metro took about 20 minutes. Zličín Metro station exits into a bus station parking lot for travel to many destinations. Metro tickets cost 24 CZK ($1.08 USD) for 30 minutes of travel or 32 CZK ($1.44 USD) for up to 90 minutes of travel, including transfers for trams and buses in Prague.

Student Agency/RegioJet is the bus company we used for 100 CZK ($4.48 USD) one way tickets from Zličín to Pilsen CAN bus station.

Student Agency is top quality bus transportation service with seatback video monitors offering films, music, games. Headsets are passed out by the bus attendant and food service is available. There is also a toilet on the bus. Prague-Pilsen service is hourly all day long in each direction.

Student Agency

I have traveled on Student Agency buses across the Czech Republic a couple of times over the past two years. They are a Brno, Czech based company with extensive network of bus routes across Czechia and Slovakia.

CSAD Autobusy Plzen is another option with 79 CZK tickets to Zličín, or 100 CZK will book you on the bus all the way to Florence bus station in Prague. There are no amenities on these buses.

BusRadar.com is a website I use for finding bus travel options in Central Europe.

The temperature in Pilsen was around 90 F when we arrived at the bus station and we took a taxi to the hotel. The charge of 167 CZK seemed excessive to the Courtyard hotel. The taxi ride back, booked by the hotel, only cost 100 CZK.

To the city centre from the Pilsen Central Bus Station (CAN): Take trolleybus No. 11 or 12 to the Mrakodrap stop or tram No. 2 to the Republic Square (náměstí Republiky) stop. Alternatively, it is 15 minutes walk.

Plzen Namesti Republikcy

Náměstí Republiky, Plzen is one of the largest city squares in the country.

Marriott Courtyard is about two blocks from náměstí Republiky, the main square in Old Town Pilsen.

Marriott Courtyard Pilsen

Marriott Plzen lobby

We received a basic standard room #405 on the 4th floor of the 7-floor hotel. I have no Marriott elite status and I have been sitting on 15,000 Marriott Rewards points for a few years.

Marriott Plzen bed

The only real complaint I had about the room is the bed pillows sucked. They were thick foam pillows and gave me a neck ache. I like a soft thin pillow.

Marriott Plzen desk

Desk chair was comfortable, but no other chair in room.

Marriott Plzen frig

Stuffed the empty refrigerator with beer and food from Tesco, about 15 minutes walk from hotel.

Marriott $10 Tesco

$10 in groceries from Plzen Tesco buys a lot of beer and food.

Breakfast at the Courtyard was an amount I don’t recall, but far more than the cost of eating in a local restaurant. We did not eat at the Courtyard hotel.

Marriott Plzen coffee

Marriott Plzen bathroom

Not that we could tell from the view, but our room looked out to the Pilsner Urquell Brewery. However, the tree in the left foreground of the photo blocks the historic water tower, the most distinctive architectural feature of the brewery.

Marriott Plzen view

Pilsner Urquell is the modern brewery for the original bottom-fermented lager beer developed in 1842. Much more on the history of beer and the pivotal role Plzen played in making lager the dominant global beer type in only a few decades.

Pilsner Urquell Brewery

The craft beer trend is heading back to top-fermented ales with craft breweries all the rage again around Czech Republic. I saw a few craft beer halls in Pilsen too.

Much more to come on Pilsen’s role in brewing history when I write a piece on the Beer Museum, located in a former 16th century Plzen brewery, directly across the street from Marriott Courtyard Pilsen.

Pilsen beer museum

The hundred or so pubs around Old Town Plzen kept us away from the Marriott Courtyard bar.

Marriott Plzen bar

Marriott Pilsen bar entrance

I took us to Plzen, CZ to learn about the history of lager beer and drink some pilsner lager beer from the original source.

Marriott Courtyard Pilsen and 15,000 Marriott Rewards points gave us 3 days and 2 hotel nights to meet our objective.

All in all, a worthwhile excursion to Plzen, the fourth largest city in the Czech Republic, motivated in large part by a category 1 Marriott Rewards hotel redemption opportunity.

Americans Welcome in Plzen

As an aside, Plzen was the easternmost point liberated from the Nazis by American troops in battles during the final week of World War II. Prague was liberated by Soviet forces. There is a small General Patton Memorial Museum describing in detail the American effort to liberate Pilsen. The Patton Museum is about 15 minutes walk from Marriott Courtyard.

Pilsen Patton Museum

Every year there is an annual Plzen Liberation Festival during the first week of May to celebrate the liberation of the city by Americans on May 6, 1945 – two days before VE Day and the end of the WWII in Europe.

July 2017

San Francisco SFO – Copenhagen, Denmark – Stockholm, Sweden – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Prague, Czechia – Bratislava, Slovakia – London, England – San Francisco SFO (22 days-6 flights-20 hotel nights-6 bus trips)

My July in Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Czechia and Slovakia July 5, 2017

SAS flying over San Francisco

Copenhagen, Denmark: Skt. Petri Copenhagen Choice Hotels Ascend Collection

Amsterdam, Netherlands: Loyalty Traveler Lost and Found in Amsterdam

Amsterdam, Netherlands: Ramada Apollo Amsterdam Centre hotel review

Amsterdam, Netherlands: Amsterdam design for social living

Amsterdam, Netherlands: Amsterdam beer, bud and burger joints

Amsterdam and Prague Hotels: 2 stays earned 1 Free Friday Park Plaza Vondelpark Amsterdam and Park Inn Prague

Prague, Czechia: Pickpocket stole my wallet on Prague Airport Bus

Prague, Czechia: Park Inn Prague hotel review

Prague, Czechia: Best Western Hotel Kinsky Garden Prague truly boutique

Prague, Czechia: Hotel review Clarion Prague City reward stay

Prague, Czechia: Vyšehrad, Prague far from the madding crowd

Pilsen, Czechia: Marriott Courtyard Pilsen CZ category 1 reward stay

Pilsen, Czechia: Pilsen Czechia photoessay

Brno, Czechia: Holiday Inn Brno, CZ PointBreaks stay

Brno, Czechia: Brno by beer

Brno, Czechia: Brno Bones in Europe’s Second Largest Ossuary

Czechia: Impressions after 9 days in Czech Republic

Bratislava, Slovakia: Review Radisson Blu Bratislava Slovakia

Bratislava, Slovakia: Walk to Bratislava Castle Slovakia photo essay

Bratislava, Slovakia: Bratislava Slovakia photo essay part 2

Bratislava, Slovakia: Category 1 Park Inn Danube Bratislava Slovakia opens Oct 1, 2017

Bratislava, Slovakia: Trip Report Regiojet Bus Bratislava to Brno Airport

London, UK: Buyer Beware National Express bus London Stansted to London Heathrow

London, UK: Radisson Blu Edwardian Heathrow hotel review

Hotel Loyalty: Loyalty? Yes! Loyal? Not so much for my hotel travel

Hotel Loyalty: My two Club Carlson Free Friday Nights posted today

Airline Loyalty: Aegean Silver elite and 17,000 miles to Star Alliance Gold

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

More articles by Ric Garrido »

Comments

  1. I have been wanting to take a trip to this part of the world and your report made me want to go even more. I’m going to save this article and any more that you may blog about this adventure. Thanks, Harry

  2. I’ve followed your blog for a few years i can’t help pointing out one thing that the value most bloggers assign to the points are not proper for me or anyone who do not value chain “brands” particularly. for me if the room cost 7500 points and sells for $150 I’ll judge 7500 points by how much real value it provides for me when i pay cash for any available comparable room in the city. for czech cities for me a $50 room in un-chain hotels is good enough and that’s what i’ll value for 7500 points in this case. it’s more like an “opportunity cost” comparison. (this also assumes for me a $150 room is not necessarily better than a $50 one.) just my thought.

  3. @w.w – There were $50 rooms in Plzen, CZ. on the same street as Courtyard. Good deal if you don’t mind staying in a room with no air conditioner when it was 90 degrees outside.

    As for assigning value to Marriott Rewards points in this post. I didn’t.

    For me the value of 15,000 Marriott Rewards points were two free nights. Those points have been sitting in my account for several years with absolutely no value.

    Points only have value when you redeem them and thereby save having to spend more money on hotel rooms.

  4. can’t imagine cz got this hot…i always can find hotels below $40 that’s acceptable for me in central europe. i remember czech was the least expensive place in my trip..stayed in a hotel in prague for $30 and its 3 star and good quality..so i assume if people widen their search a $50 room in pilsen will possibly be decent..of course that’s me only but i think there are many one like me too.

  5. @w.w. – I can assure you it got this hot in CZ this past weekend. I had to listen to my wife bitch about the heat for past five days. Today the weather finally broke with the rain in Prague and cooled down to 60s.

    Kelley says, “It was fucking hot”.

    Anyway, I have said this several times in the past. There are numerous options for lodging. As someone who spends 90 nights a year in hotels, I want to limit my options so I don’t spend all my time researching hotels for great deals.

    Main point is I had 15,000 Marriott Rewards points sitting around for years and Marriott Courtyard Pilsen was a great location at a price I liked – Free.

  6. most value MR points at .06, maybe a bit more now that they convert 3:1 with SPG. even by that valuation, he got great value from the points. if he had Marriott or SPG gold (aside: DUDE…. as a blogger you should have at least SPG gold- many easy ways to get it), he’d have been in a much better room and maybe (idk, property dependent) other amenities.

    still, any Cat 1 that you’re satisfied with is a good redemption.

  7. @aby – dude, I don’t stay much with Starwood Hotels in recent years. Never quite got over the fact that when I was a Starwood AMEX Star blogger in 2012, the PR company representing the campaign misspelled my wife’s name on a ticket to Miami and she ended up stuck in Monterey, while I was on a $2,500 hotel stay at St. Regis Bal Harbour at Christmas time.

    http://loyaltytraveler.boardingarea.com/2013/01/02/st-regis-bal-harbour-hotel/

    http://loyaltytraveler.boardingarea.com/2009/11/20/my-midas-touch-gives-new-spg-members-starwood-preferred-guest-gold-elite/

  8. @aby – your comment actually got me thinking about doing a Platinum elite challenge later this year. 18 nights for SPG Platinum elite to 2019.
    https://www.spgpromos.com/statuschallenge/terms

    I am only 26 nights away from SPG Lifetime Gold Elite.
    http://starwoodworldwide.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/45/~/how-do-i-earn-lifetime-gold%3F

    I see a nice little Starwood Hotel in remote Poland for about $50 per night.
    https://www.starwoodhotels.com/preferredguest/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=60539

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